I’ve made my reservations and I’ve got my tickets – I’m all set for WordCamp Miami! I am signed up for the Freelancer’s Workshop. To follow will be two days of fascination, donuts, and information overload.
WordCamp is a professional development opportunity for those who use the WordPress website platform. Pre-conference workshops offer the opportunity to deep-dive into a particular area of study. Conference sessions provide new inspiration and ideas. I finally took the plunge this past fall; I attended WordCamp Tampa and never regretted it.
In the Freelancer’s Workshop, I’m interested in the sessions on pricing, taxes, and profits. The Q&A panel should be useful as well. This WordCamp will also feature a workshop for beginners, as well as a BuddyCamp.
During the conference proper, I predict that the Business track will prove useful to me. Much of the Business track content is applicable to the non-WordPress aspects of my business. I build, secure, and maintain simple brochure sites for small businesses. I am also a corporate consultant, practicing the information risk and security management disciplines. I want to grow the WordPress part of my business beyond the small handful of clients I’ve collected thus far.
Here in Florida, we are fortunate to have three WordCamp opportunities within driving distance of one another. Although dates have not yet been announced for Orlando, I’m eagerly looking forward to it. I am, after all, an annual passholder to multiple theme parks in that area.
Freelancing can be associated with many F-words (no, not THAT one), but they won’t all fit on the subject line. Feast, famine, and fire hose are all excellent descriptors of volume and timing as freelancing work ebbs and flows. Then there’s flexibility, the F-word that allows me to take a day here and a day there to attend a workshop, embark upon a naturalist expedition, or get some volunteer work done during the work week.
It has been a very busy (read: billable) week here in the land of freelance ambiguity.
I’ve bought and installed a MUCH more ergonomic desk in the home office. My beautiful antique oak school teacher’s desk just wasn’t designed for hours and hours of computing time. Ergonomics and body mechanics while computing are just as important as firewalls and virus scanners.
The new desk arrived just in time. I’ve been embroiled in a big, juicy project, and my non-profit work is spinning along, too. I’ve promised myself a massage just as soon as the project is turned in. Oh, and I’m a year older than the last time you heard from me. The new desk and the massage are birthday presents to myself.
Here’s a sample of what I felt compelled to share this week:
How was YOUR week? Mine was packed with wall-to-wall meetings and opportunities to network with new contacts. Also, for what it’s worth, I hit 1,600 tweets this morning; not exactly a mystical milestone, but I just happened to notice it, so I thought I’d mention it.
Welcome to the Reading Roundup for Week Ending July 17th, 2015
The work week is always unpredictable in the life of a freelancer. Consulting gigs present themselves when they present themselves, so adaptation to a life of ambiguity is a must. Other forms of interruption may also present themselves. This week, it was the arrival of my pre-ordered copy of the long-awaited Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee. Due to the aforementioned unpredictability of workload, I’m only just smack-dab in the middle of it – will let you know how I liked it.
Here are some of the other things I’ve been reading and sharing this week:
Brick & Mortar Breakout: Finding Your Freelance Community
The holidays are a time of year when freelancers might wax nostalgic for an office environment. Working for a brick & mortar establishment comes with a built-in professional network. As freelancers, our offices house a party of one. There aren’t any cubicle walls over which to prairie-dog companionably with colleagues.
The article linked below describes splitting your day into 90-minute windows, reckoning that an average “task” takes around 90 minutes to complete. This concept of “windows” or “units” is not new to me. Rather humorously, I first encountered it in one of my favorite must-see-it-at-Christmas-time films, About A Boy. However, the protagonist’s “units” had little to do with working for a living.
Still, the idea bears merit. Dividing the day into blocks defines when the task begins and when it ends. It can help to drive focus, and to curb the inclination to tweak to perfection (news flash: perfection is Continue reading Work windows, and why we need them→
It was a brilliant, blue-sky day in November, 2012. Full-time Florida residents live for this type of day – the heat of the summer is behind us, but the massive influx of snowbirds is still before us. We get to enjoy our Florida unfettered.
Gary was at the wheel. Tootie and I had each draped ourselves into the mandatory lounging position on either side of the vessel. We were headed into Estero Bay, deeply grateful for the sky, the water, the sunshine, and the freedom to enjoy it all. Thinking about the reasons why I, in particular, could enjoy said freedom, I remarked to Tootie, “You know, I don’t think I’m getting a job. I think I’m making a job.” And with those words, I did what any plugged-in netizen of this day and age would do. I snapped a pic of my bare feet against the idyllic backdrop, and posted it to Facebook.
Working from home isn’t for everyone; actually, if you ask Marissa Mayer or Jamie Dimon, working from home isn’t for ANYONE. Despite their opinions on the subject, there are those of us who, whether freelancing for ourselves or telecommuting for someone else, can work from home and consistently outshine our office-dwelling counterparts.
It’s startling to see these statistics in print – the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Center for Women in Business reports that 30% of all new businesses are owned by women, and that 90% of female entrepreneurs are sole proprietors.
Thus far, there is no indication of what one should do if one has already purchased a “party of one” health care insurance policy. Last time I switched, it was because COBRA had come to an end. At that time, I discovered I’d been paying for a lot of things for which I had little to no use (gastric by-pass surgery, well baby care, and more). I ended up saving a bunch, but I am still paying more monthly than I would if I just paid cash every time I needed medical care. Time to do some research and come up with a list of options – stay tuned…